Monday, August 31, 2015

The will of the people

Will the donor class allow Republicans to figure out a way to stop the Iran deal? Ace of Spades thinks not:
the Donor Class has forbidden McConnell to spend any political capital on this; the Donor Class demands that all political capital will be spent on things that really matter, like the Export-Import Bank.

Still, in order to have fruitful political discussions, it is necessary that we pretend to be members of a functioning democracy in which voters have some sort of influence on government and popular will is somehow of concern to politicians.

So we'll pretend along, because otherwise, every blog post will be very short: "The Donor Class wins."
Read more here.

Waking up to the here that won't be here tomorrow

Ann Voskamp writes at A Holy experience,
Why doesn’t someone tell all the homemakers: Cleanliness isn’t next to godliness. Love is.

...How could I forget that the only thing that we’re always really teaching is love?

...Grace allows u-turns; it’s Time that doesn’t. This is a grace too, to coerce us all into waking up to the here that won’t be here tomorrow.

Ann's son is 18 and going off to college. As she thinks of him, she writes,
I’m not partial to how much you remember of calculus; but it’s dire that you know that the sum of how you see the ordinary is all that ever adds up to an extraordinary life. The lessons any kid remembers are the ones his parents lived.

...More important than a clean house is a close family.

...Every time you saw me, a smile is what you should have seen first.

...By His grace and a few thousand miracles, there was good and smiles can swim through tears. Remember how we read a million library books together? I’ll never regret every page we chose over screens.

...We ate three meals a day together at a table (and don’t think that doesn’t change the shape of a soul and the world). And we never pushed back our chairs until we’d had our dessert of Scripture. Life is about one thing: Coming to His table and inviting as many as you can to come with you and feast on the only Living Food. We gave you this.

And for better or worse, your Dad and I taught you how to work hard. Make it for the world’s better, son.

...And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed.

Believe that you are His beloved – it’s only when you trust that He loves you that you really begin to live. Really, count a thousand blessings more — why wouldn’t you want joy? Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted… in the small moments missed.

This parenting gig’s an experiment in radical grace and the work of every parent is to fully give to the child.

And it’s the work of every child to fully forgive the parents. This is how it turns, the torch passing from one to the next.
Read more here.

Subsidizing sugar

Marco Rubio believes that we need to continue to subsidize sugar growers in the U.S. Windsor Mann writes at National Review,
Asked this month about his support for sugar subsidies, Rubio said he would eliminate them if “the countries that export sugar into the U.S. get rid of theirs as well, and here’s why: Otherwise, Brazil will wipe out our agriculture and it’s not just sugar.”

If we eliminate our sugar subsidies first, Rubio warned, “other countries will capture the market share, our agricultural capacity will be developed into real estate, you know, housing and so forth, and then we lose the capacity to produce our own food, at which point we’re at the mercy of a foreign country for food security.”

Mann explains,
The federal sugar program, which consists of price supports, import quotas, loan guarantees, and other anti-market contrivances, costs $1.9 billion annually, according to an estimate by the GAO. The Coalition for Sugar Reform, which advocates the repeal of sugar subsidies, says the program has cost $15 billion since 2008. American consumers must bear these costs for the privilege of buying sugar at more than twice the world rate. The benefits, meanwhile, accrue to the fewer than 4,500 domestic sugar producers.

In 1934, the U.S. government decided to subsidize sugar on a “temporary” basis. As often happens in Washington, at some point in the intervening decades, “temporary” came to mean “forever.” The result is a system in which the less-than-1 percent enrich themselves at the expense of the 99-plus percent, thanks to unremitting bipartisan support.

...We have as much reason to grow our own sugar as Lithuania does to make its own cars: none. The fact is that other countries produce certain things more cheaply and efficiently than we do. That is why we trade with them. If only our government would butt out, we could buy sugar even more cheaply.

The Cold War is over, but the excuses for sugar subsidies persist. If protecting Americans’ lives were the goal, Rubio would be calling for a ban on sugar, not a subsidy. After all, sugar kills more Americans than terrorists do. According to a recent study published in the journal Circulation, sugar-sweetened beverages account for one in every 100 obesity-related deaths. Each year an estimated 25,000 Americans die as a result of consuming them.

Obesity causes deaths. Sugar causes obesity. The government subsidizes sugar. You subsidize the government. You subsidize death. The terrorists win.

This syllogism makes at least as much sense as what Rubio said.
Read more here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

90 to 95 percent of Ashley Madison users were males

Why is there such a huge ratio differences between men and women who were members of the hacked Ashley Madison adultry site? Chateau Heartiste thinks he knows:
The dearth of live wives seeking extramarital affairs on Ashley Madison is a consequence of:

1. the nature of women to prefer their seduction be veiled behind flirtatious feints and parries (as opposed to arid, conspicuous match-ups with equally debased men)
2. the disposition of wives to simply leave their husbands when they want to start new romances (husbands — and single men in relationships — can better tolerate balancing illicit lovers with a wife or steady girlfriend, even over long periods of time).
3. the fact that women are not as promiscuous as men.
Read more here.

Protect our citizens and our sovereignty!

Elizabeth Price Foley writes at Instapundit,
Any country (or federation of countries, as with the EU) that wishes to protect its sovereignty and citizens (which is the very purpose of government) must control its borders. It’s really that simple. While one cannot help but have empathy for those individuals fleeing economically or politically volatile countries, the solution is to help stabilize those countries, not tolerate ongoing massive, disruptive shifts in population, which only leads to destabilization of stable democracies (republics), which in turn, holds the potential to destabilize the world.
Read more here.

Trigger warnings

Carson and Sanders gain ground on the front-runners in Iowa

Rick Moran at PJ Media brings us poll results that are not good for Hillary Clinton and very good for Dr. Ben Carson.

Newsworthy

Rick Moran notes at PJ Media that the media was all over coverage of the 325 #BlackLivesMatter protesters in Minnesota shouting hate against police, while the mainstream media ignored a 20,000 person march in Birmingham, Alabama shouting "Love is the answer:"
You can bet if the Beck marchers had chanted anti-black slogans, the coverage would have been over the top. But I ask you what is more newsworthy: black activists threatening the lives of police — which isn’t reported anyway — or 20,000 Americans who say that love is the answer?
read more here.

Aberration

Andrew Klavan writes at PJ Media,
Here is the first rule of “mainstream” news coverage in America: Whenever the prejudices and illusions of left-wingers are confirmed by an individual incident, the incident is treated as representative; when those prejudices and illusions are contradicted, the incident is considered an aberration — and treating it as representative is deemed hateful.

It was by satirizing that rule that Breitbart’s mustache-twirling evil-doer Ben Shapiro once again got himself in hot water this week. The flagrantly brainy provocateur ran a headline describing the heart-shredding murder in Virginia of a local TV reporter and her cameraman: “Black, Gay Reporter Murders Straight, White Journalists — Media Blame the Gun.” The headline violated mainstream media protocol by being completely true while running counter to the leftist narrative. The two straight white people had in fact been killed by a mentally ill black gay Obama supporter who saw micro-aggressions everywhere and played the race card whenever he could.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not all black gay Obama supporters are homicidal maniacs. Many of them are perfectly nice people who just want to go about their business the same as you and me. It’s totally unfair to judge all of them by the actions of one sick individual. That’s probably why ABC News is withholding portions of the killer’s lengthy manifesto. It is the responsibility of every mainstream news organization to release only that information that is good for people to know and keeps them in line with leftist thinking. Otherwise, each American might run around loose making up his own mind. And we wouldn’t want that.

A real healer

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media,
Barack Obama and Eric Holder (and now Loretta Lynch) are to blame for encouraging an atmosphere of racial divisiveness and, yes, hatred in our society. Anyone honest can see — and the polls have reported — a serious increase in racial tension and violence (Baltimore, Ferguson, etc.) since the beginning of the Obama administration. The racist-to-the-core “Black Lives Matter” movement is quite simply their evil spawn.

...But all is not ill. Maybe we don’t deserve it, maybe it’s a sign of divine intervention (who knows?), but America is getting a second chance. A man is running for president who is a true healer like we haven’t seen since Dr. King. And he’s resonating with the public because I suspect many of us realize he is just what our country needs at this moment (with or without Donald Trump by his side). You know who I mean — Dr. Ben Carson.
Read more here.

A passionate commitment

Have they ever loved you back?


Hat tip CBD at Ace of Spades

No match?

Is it all a game to prop up numbers?

It's about connection!

In less than two full days over 1,773,000 people have viewed on You Tube this interview with a presidential candidate.


Thanks to Scott Ott

How to get and stay miserable in the midst of joy and plenty

Read the New York Times, replace the word description with the word destiny, control your mental focus, don't plan for a better life future, hate your job, worry, and demand that government make you happy!

US airstrikes avoiding ISIS training camps

Bill Gertz reports at the Washington Free Beacon,
The Pentagon has not conducted airstrikes against an estimated 60 Islamic State (IS) training camps that are supplying thousands of fighters each month to the terror group, according to defense and intelligence officials.



The camps are spread throughout Islamic State-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria and are off limits in the U.S.-led international bombing campaign because of concerns about collateral damage, said officials familiar with planning and execution of the yearlong bombing campaign.

Additionally, the IS (also known as ISIS or ISIL) camps have been so successful that Islamic State leaders are considering expanding the camps to Libya and Yemen. Both states have become largely ungoverned areas in recent years.

The failure to target the training camps with U.S. and allied airstrikes is raising questions among some defense and intelligence officials about the commitment of President Obama and his senior aides to the current anti-IS strategy of degrading and ultimately destroying the terror group.

“If we know the location of these camps, and the president wants to destroy ISIS, why are the camps still functioning?” one official critical of the policy asked.

The camps are regarded by U.S. intelligence analysts as a key element in the terror group’s successes in holding and taking new territory. The main benefit of the training camps is that they are providing a continuous supply of new fighters.

An additional worry of intelligence analysts is that some of the foreign fighters being trained in the camps will eventually return to their home countries in Europe and North America to carry out terror attacks.

Read more here.

God love ya, Joe

"There's a lot of us that believe he's sincere!"

This video by Joe Dan Gorman over at Intellectual Froglegs has been banned by You Tube. Why?? I just watched it, and cannot figure out for the life of me why it should be banned.


Hat tip Christopher Buckley

I think you people need a new sheriff



Hat tip Christopher Buckley

Jeb Bush to step in Hillary's worn-down heels?

At The American Thinker Clarice Feldman has a suggestion:
If the Democrats want someone who supports open borders, there’s one person who consistently has been for them -- Jeb Bush -- and I bet that everyone not part of the GOP establishment would be happy to see him step into Hillary’s worn-down heels.
Read more here.

Hat tip Christopher Buckley

Politically correct



This was posted by my son Jon on his Facebook page. Am I proud of him? What do you think?

A new arm for Isabelle



Hat tip to Ann Voskamp

He willed it!

A kid hits one out of the park in the Little League World Series. The pitcher is just amazed!


But, who is that kid who just hit that amazing grand slam homer?

"Taking our church out in the streets"

Another talk radio show host, Glenn Beck, has once again proved his ability to attact crowds and mobilize people to a cause. Greg Garrison reports at Al.com,
Led by conservative activist and talk show host Glenn Beck, more than 20,000 people chanting "All Lives Matter" marched the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall this morning.

"It's about taking our church out in the streets," Beck said. He said marchers came from as far away as China, Dubai and the Netherlands.
read more here.

A bond built on gratitude, love, hope, optimism

One of the reasons why I listen to Rush Limbaugh is the way he analyzes what is happening. Take the Trump phenomena, for example. He notes that the popularity of Trump is completely inexplicable to the political pundits who consider themselves experts. The only thing they can come up with is "angry populism." They blame Trump's popularity on the stupidity and anger of the voters.

Are people angry? Yes, Rush says, wouldn't you be? People vote for one thing and get another. They see what is happening with our economy and our values, and they worry about what it will be like for their grandchildren.

But, Rush says, anger is not what is driving this Trump phenomena. No, it is the opposite of anger. It is love! Rush notes how sincere Trump is when he thanks his supporters and connects with them and stands up for them. Rush believes that people hear Trump and believe there might actually be someone who will fight for them and recapture America's greatness. Rush believes Trump is establishing a bond, a connection with voters, and that the only person who can break that bond is Trump himself. The pundits and Trump opponents can ridicule them all they want, but the bond is so strong that the criticism of others cannot break it.

The pundits and media experts think the bond is negative, all about anger. Rush says it is not. He observes what he believes as a very sincere gratitude on Trump's part that voters hope will translate into a commitment to them.

Interesting theory, right? Do you hear anyone but Rush Limbaugh making those observations?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

He's in your belly now?

Is it rumbling? How did you make that? Why you made it? Thumbs up!


Hat tip Ann Voskamp

Psychology? Science?

Maverick researchers have long argued that much of what gets published in elite scientific journals is fundamentally squishy — that the results tell a great story but can’t be reproduced when the experiments are run a second time.

Now a volunteer army of fact-checkers has published a new report that affirms that the skepticism was warranted. Over the course of four years, 270 researchers attempted to reproduce the results of 100 experiments that had been published in three prestigious psychology journals.

It was awfully hard. They ultimately concluded that they’d succeeded just 39 times.
Read more here.

First day of kindergarten


The first day of school can be overwhelming, and no young student should experience the milestone alone.

Charlee Winebrenner, the daughter of slain Akron, Ohio, police officer Justin Winebrenner was welcomed on her first day of kindergarten with love and applause from her father’s colleagues, the Barberton Herald reported.

Escorted by her mother and grandparents, the 5-year-old arrived at Turkeyfoot Elementary School, in New Franklin, on Thursday to a lineup of enforcement officers from multiple Ohio counties. “They promised me that they would take care of this little girl for the rest of her life,” Charlee’s grandfather, Rob Winebrenner, told the Barberton Herald.

Justin Winebrenner was killed while off duty in November, attempting to stop a gunman at an Akron pub, Cleveland.com reported.
Read more here.

Hat tip Ann Voskamp

What he got



H/T Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm

Want to watch a time lapse video of this hummingbird feeding her babies?


Go here to watch the video and read the story.

H/T Ann Voskamp

Cheating

“You shouldn’t judge me,” S said. “You’re seeing things in black and white when there is so much more nuance to it.”

But really, there wasn’t. She was bored with me and wanted to play. It was very simple.
Who is S? She is the wife of a San Francisco man named Matthew, who discovered that his wife used the Ashley Madison web site to cheat on him with other married men.

Matthew tells his story to New York Post writer Dana Schuster:
...But maybe there’s an upside to the breach. Ashley Madison deserves everything that’s coming its way. The CEO is such a sociopath. Just think about all the misery he helps inflict. The fact that there are already two suicides linked to the breach is just so regrettable.

And for those who were caught, you should stand up and say, “Yeah, I did this. I admit it and I’m working toward being a better person.”

I’m currently looking for a new job in the tech world, and you can bet that I’m going to look up any potential new boss to see if they were on Ashley Madison — anyone who would lie to his or her spouse would lie to me.

Being divorced after nearly two decades of marriage because my wife was cheating on me on a site like Ashley Madison wasn’t the future I had envisioned. Back when we were together, I thought what we had was good. Only in retrospect, now that I’m separated and in a new relationship, do I understand how good it can be. My life is 1,000 percent better.

Now I understand what love is. It’s when someone appreciates you for who you actually are, and has your back. And when you’re not with them, you feel like something’s missing. And you can trust them with your life.

I didn’t have that before, but now I do.
Read more here.
H/T Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm

"Try the new door"

Philo the cat has a better idea.


H/T Ann Voskamp

Protecting and serving

Ambulance Driver writes about the murder of Louisiana State Patrol Trooper Steven Vincent.

Now imagine that (adreniline) rush every single traffic stop, with the knowledge that the moment that rush starts to fade, the moment you let your guard down and your senses dull, might be the moment someone decides to kill you.

Your choices are to never let your guard down and see the job that you loved turn into the onerous task that eats away your soul, or you can reconcile the risk and continue to believe that most people are fundamentally good, and perhaps lose your life at the hands of someone you were trying to help, like Steven Vincent did.

And for those of you who shake your heads and wonder, “What is the world coming to?” I’ll point you to Fred Rogers’ wise words made for times and tragedies like these:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Thus it has always been, and thus I suspect it always shall be.

A handful of motorists subdued Steven Vincent’s killer, rendered aid to Steven, and handcuffed the man with Steven’s own handcuffs. God willing, he’ll go to jail wearing those cuffs, and be wearing them when he is marched to whatever final punishment a jury deems appropriate.

For every maniac who just wants to see the world burn, twenty more helpers will show up to put out the flames, and offer assistance and succor to the wounded.

Most people are still fundamentally good and decent at heart, and many of the best of them wear badges.

I’m damned proud to know them.
Read more here.

Making money off the misery of others

That's what drug dealers do. Apparently there has been a big increase in recent years in addictions to heroin and prescription drug opiates. The zman.com writes here about one police department that is trying to stop it.

Foreign competiton has arrived at the highest job skill levels

Dan McSwain writes an intriguing article in the San Diego Union Tribune entitled, Foreign competitors in the next cubicle.
San Diegans already know full well that foreigners are competing for their jobs. They don’t need national politicians from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders telling them to worry.

Consider the recent blowback from layoff decisions of two prominent regional companies, Qualcomm and Southern California Edison.

The layoffs highlighted a controversial corner of immigration policy occupied by H-1B visas, which allow companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years in “specialty” occupations such as software, engineering, biotech or even fashion modeling.

Early this year, Edison began displacing about 500 information technology workers, about 100 voluntarily and 400 through layoffs. But their functions were outsourced to Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two giant firms based in India.

Before they left, some workers were compelled to train their replacements, and some of them were foreign nationals working in the U.S.

The H-1B program “was supposed to be for projects and jobs that American workers could not fill,” one Edison worker told Computerworld, an IT news magazine. “But we’re doing our job. It’s not like they are bringing in these guys for new positions that nobody can fill. Not one of these jobs being filled by India was a job that an Edison employee wasn’t already performing.”

In response, 10 federal lawmakers asked the Department of Labor to investigate whether the H-1B program can be used to directly replace American workers. As of June, that probe was under way, according to Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

Indirect replacement is no better, if you’re the one losing a job.

Last month, Qualcomm said it would cut roughly 15 percent of its global workforce, about 4,700 workers (it employs 15,000 in San Diego; 31,000 worldwide). Executives haven’t released any details, yet the news lit up social media.

“There are large, multistory apartment complexes in Kearny Mesa and Clairemont Mesa full of Qualcomm engineers from India,” said Gail Anderson, a commentator on the Union-Tribune’s digital editions. “I’d say send them all back.”

The H-1B program for temporary workers is clearly popular with employers. Federal officials in April received a record 233,000 applications, or nearly four times this year’s tech slots.

Criticism of the program comes from two directions: Many H-1B workers don’t become U.S. citizens, so hiring them ultimately transfers skills to foreign competitors.
Some pay lower wages

Meanwhile, they tend to depress wages. Regulations call for equivalent pay, but employers often use loopholes to pay at the low end of industry scales.

Others sympathize with foreign workers, saying the program amounts to indenturement because the visas belong to employers. Workers who lose jobs generally must leave the country. Such leverage adds potential for abuse.

...Canada famously uses a point system that favors people with job offers and advanced degrees. The U.S. sticks to favoring family reunification, and doesn’t focus on skills.

In San Diego, the issue is far from academic. Recent immigrants long ago came to dominate low-wage jobs in hospitality, farming and landscaping. Then they moved into middle-wage jobs in construction and manufacturing.

Now natives increasingly encounter competition from young, hungry recent graduates in professional and technical services, a sector that has added a net 24,300 jobs since 2009 in San Diego County.

Just as certainly, talented foreigners have played key roles in powering economic and technical achievement in San Diego.
Focus on innovation

At Achates Power, a startup that has invented a dramatically cleaner and more-efficient diesel engine, 10 percent of its 50 workers used H-1B visas and about one-third were born abroad, the Union-Tribune reported in 2013.

It’s easy to see why Congress is reluctant to discourage such innovation on U.S. soil. With the American economy gaining strength as the rest of the world slumps, global competition will only grow in ferocity.

Regardless of where talk of national reform ends up, the emotional power of the immigration issue seems unlikely to diminish.

For decades, workers have watched jobs disappear to foreign competitors inside and outside the U.S. And for years, pundits and politicians said boosting skills offered a path to job security.

Reality is more complex. Competition has arrived at the highest skill levels.
Read more here.
H/T 90 Miles from Tyranny

Responding to disasters

Michael Brown, or "Brownie," as George W. Bush affectionately called him, was the FEMA director when Katrina hit New Orleans ten years ago. Brown has a talk radio show in Denver these days, and it is a good one, that I listen to every day on my way home from work. Kudos to Politico, which has given Mr. Brown space in their publication to make his case for people to stop blaming him for Katrina. At the end of his piece, Michael has some recommendations:
The American public needs to learn not to rely on the government to save them when a crisis hits. The larger the disaster, the less likely the government will be capable of helping any given individual. We simply do not have the manpower to help everyone. Firefighters and rescue workers would all agree the true first responders are individual citizens who take care of themselves.

Government has a few lessons to learn, too. FEMA was once known for its great partnership with state and local governments. The agency saw its role as an augmenter of state and local response—helping to train, equip and organize first responders at the local level. It was what I always called an “honest broker.” Our role was to assist state and local governments to correct vulnerabilities they faced. When a presidentially-declared disaster struck, FEMA activated the Catastrophic Disaster Response Group, and, acting as that honest broker, brought federal, state and local agencies together to respond appropriately, efficiently and effectively.

That same approach gave us the Urban Search & Rescue Teams, the Veterinarian Medical Assistance Teams, the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams, the Nuclear Incident Response Teams, all of which were made up of local first responders who received training and equipment to use during presidentially-declared disasters.

But after the creation of DHS in 2003, the focus shifted from an all-hazards approach to a focus on terrorism. Money for grants, training and equipment suddenly had to somehow help combat terrorism—and thus the partnership between federal and local agencies began to break down. Grant dollars were moved out of FEMA into the Department of Justice Office of Preparedness grants, thus moving the focus away from all hazards to one of law enforcement. Naturally, state and local governments followed the money, and the marriage between FEMA and state agencies was undermined by the pursuit of terrorism dollars.

I wrote Secretary Ridge in 2003 and warned him that this shift of grant money out of FEMA would ultimately result in FEMA’s failure. And it did. Terrorism became the focus, as did law enforcement. Partnership faded away. You can’t blame state governments; they were simply chasing the money.

Today government needs to affirmatively reassert its commitment to the all-hazards approach to disasters. Whether a disaster is man-made, natural or the result of terrorism, the response is the same. And the federal government must not become a first responder. The more state and local governments become dependent upon federal dollars, the weaker and more dependent upon the federal government they will become.

Why is that important? Disasters happen every day. The federal government should be involved only in those disasters that are beyond the capacity of state and local governments to handle. Centralized disaster response at the national level would destroy the inherent close relationship between citizens and those who save their lives and protect their property in times of everyday disasters. We must not allow that to happen.
Read more here.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Timeline: Hillary Clinton email scandal

Daniel Bates reports for Dailymail.com a timeline on the Hillary Clinton email scandal:
TIMELINE: THE CLINTON EMAIL SAGA

Hillary Clinton's email troubles began when her private address was exposed by a Romanian hacker. Now the resulting scandal threatens to torpedo her presidential ambitions.

2008 – Hillary Clinton acquires a personal email server for her use in running for president, and has it installed in her Chappaqua, New York home

January 13, 2009 – Internet records show that the domain 'clintonemail.com' was created

January 21, 2009 – Clinton is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as President Obama's secretary of state

February 1, 2013 – Clinton leaves the State Department

March 20, 2013 – Clinton's private email address, hdr22@clintonemail.com, is made public when a Romanian hacker named 'Guccifer' (whose real name is Marcel Lazăr Lehel) hacks into longtime Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal's AOL email account and leaks images of his inbox – including emails from Clinton

June 2013 – Hillary's team shifts control of the email domain to an outside IT contractor in Denver called Platte River Networks, and sends the original server hardware to a data center facility in New Jersey, where it is erased

August 11, 2014 – Following a congressional subpoena and more than a year of delays, the State Department hands over a small number of Clinton's private emails, 10 in all, to a House committee investigating the 2012 terror attack on a State Department compound in Benghazi, Libya – including some emails from the hdr22@clintonemail.com address

November 2014 – The Benghazi committee asks the State Department for a larger batch of Clinton's emails and receives about 300 that relate to the Libya saga, amounting to 850 printed pages

December 5, 2014 – Clinton's aides say that in response to a request from the State Department, they have handed over about 55,000 pages of her work-related emails, comprising 30,490 messages

February 13, 2015 – The State Department sends the Benghazi committee another 850 pages of Clinton's emails, including some from two different accounts on the private 'clintonemail.com' server

February 27, 2015 – State Department staffers tell Benghazi committee aides that Clinton had used her private address exclusively during her tenure at the agency, and that they don't have any of her emails other than those she provided voluntarily

March 4, 2015 – The Associated Press reports that it has traced Clinton's private email address back to a private server at her Chappaqua, New York home, and that the server was registered under a fake name

March 10, 2015 – In a contentious press conference following a speech at the United Nations, Clinton admits that she deleted more than 30,000 emails that she says were personal in nature, and says she turned over everything work-related to the State Department, while insisting that 'I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email; there is no classified material'

March 11, 2015 – The Associated Press sues the State Department to force the release of Clinton's emails and other documents that the agency has failed to turn over following a Freedom Of Information Act request

April 12, 2015 – Clinton launches her second presidential campaign with an online video and begins two months of low-key campaigning marked by a lack of interaction with reporters

May 22, 2015 – The first 300 of Clinton's emails are made public by the State Department, revealing a close relationship with Blumenthal in the weeks following the Benghazi terror attack; one of them has been retroactively classified by the FBI as 'secret' but Clinton insists it was 'handled appropriately'

May 27, 2015 – A federal judge orders the State Department to begin releasing all of Clinton's emails in installments every 30 days, setting monthly targets for the agency so the work is completed by January 29, 2016

July 23, 2015 – Charles McCullough, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community tells members of Congress in a letter that a random sampling of 40 Clinton emails turned up four that contained material classified as secret

July 24, 2015 – Andrea Williams, spokeswoman for the McCulloush, says that the emails 'were classified when they were sent and are classified now.'

July 25, 2015 – During a campaign appearance in Iowa, Clinton modifies her position and tells reporters in Iowa that 'I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classifiedat the time it was sent and received'

July 31, 2015 – The second State Department release of Clinton's emails, more than 1,300 in all, includes 41 that were marked 'classified' before they were made public

August 4, 2015 – Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill says in a statement that the candidate 'did not send nor receive any emails that were marked classified at the time'

August 11, 2015 – McCullough revises his statement to Congress, saying that two of the four emails in question should have been classified 'top secret' – but were not marked that way – and contained information from signal intercepts and keyhole satellite data; he adds that the other two emails are still being evaluated

August 11, 2015 – The FBI takes possession of Clinton's server hardware and three thumb drives in her lawyer's possession, which are said to contain copies of everything she turned over to the State Department.
Read more here.

Fatalists

Because of America’s two-party system and the dominance of individualistic libertarians and social conservatives in one party and left-egalitarians and interest-group liberals in the other, we forget the basics. As the late great political scientist Aaron Wildavsky taught us years ago there are four fundamental political types: egalitarians, individualists, social conservatives, and—the ones we forget about—what he called “fatalists.”

We tend to forget the fatalists because they tend not to vote. They view the world as foreign, chaotic, ephemeral, dangerous, on the edge of falling into bedlam. He used the analogy that their world is like a marble rolling unsteadily on a glass surface, rolling and pitching who knows where. Government has some control but is run by an untouchable, all-powerful elite acting in its own interest. Such a world can only be tamed by something enormously powerful and masterful, and only during a crisis. Then a strong central government supported by angry, patriotic nationalists and led by a popular Napoleon on his white horse can arrest the anarchy. Trump’s autobiography is titled Think Big and Kick Ass.
Read more here.

Our future leaders

You people do not cover us accurately at all!

Why does this guy have to be Mexican in your true story?

You don't think higher ed is nearing insanity?

Kieran Corcoran writes today at Dailymail.com,
The University of Tennessee has told its staff and students to stop calling each other 'he', 'she', 'him' and 'her' - and to start referring to one another with terms like 'xe', 'zir' and 'xyr' instead.

The Knoxville branch of the public university, which has 27,400 students, sent a memo round to its members filled with unusual new parts of speech to avoid referring to anybody's gender.

According to a gay rights official at the university, the new language regime will make the university 'welcoming and inclusive' and stop people feeling 'marginalized'.

Read more here.

Anger displacement

Maetenloch at Ace of Spades decided to write today about anger displacement.
This is why people often end up being the nastiest to the loving people around them since a) they're close at hand and that's so much easier than having to track down the real target b) it feels so good to rage at and insult someone - anyone - even if they had nothing to do with the cause of the rage and c) deep down the ragers know that their chosen targets will take it without any real consequences. The fact that this kind of anger displacement is so easy, satisfying, and mostly cost-free is why it's such a common human failing. And when there's no cost at all you get the cesspool of internet comment sections.
Read more here.

We have to ask tough questions, even if he doesn't like them

Putin's life of luxury

From Worldaffairsjournal.com:
In 2012, Boris Nemtsov and Leonid Martynyuk published their investigative piece, “The Life of a Galley Slave (palaces, yachts, cars, airplanes, and other accessories)”, which exposed the extend to Vladimir Putin’s wealth and assets in detail. The western media reported on aspects of the report, but an English language translation has not been available until now.

Putin's Life of Luxury
20 palaces and villas: with opulent fittings worthy of an emperor

15 helicopters

43 aircraft including an airliner that features an $11 million cabin fitted out by jewelers -and that toilet which, the report says, cost close to $100,000

53.7-metre yacht: with designer interior, a spa pool, waterfall and wine cellar

11 luxury watches

Five-decked yacht: with a jacuzzi, barbecue, a maple wood colonnade and a huge bathroom faced in marble

available anytime to the current President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, are 20 palaces, villas and residences.
In comparison:
The President of The United States has two residences.
The Head of The German Government has two.
The Italian Prime Minister has three.
The Canadian Prime has one.

Note that nine new palaces appeared during Putin’s presidency. Thus the obscenely large number of residences under Putin, have almost doubled.
Go here to see photos and descriptions of each of the 20 palaces, watches, and airplanes.

A letter to a Senator

Here is a letter my friend Curt Dale wrote to Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who is up for reelection in 2016, and who has yet to announce any position on the Iran deal.
Honorable Senator Bennet,

I'm going to do you a favor and suggest that you vote against the horrible Iran Nuclear Agreement Hanoi John Kerry and Obama are trying to foist on the American People and the World. It is such an obviously desperate move on Obama's part to have some sort of an accomplishment to put in his planned $1.5 Billion library that he's willing to give Iran the nukes the terrorist leaders want. I am a 27 year Veteran of the United States Air Force, and I had the duty of being ready to launch nuclear weapons for 7 years during my career. I'm a veteran of 3 combat flying tours in Vietnam, so I'm a bit familiar with the devastation of war, and I've though through the consequences of nuclear weapons, particularly in the hands of maniacal Nazi leaders such as the fanatics who are in charge of Iran and the bloodthirsty mullas and Muslim leaders who scream Death to America. This agreement is madness.

If you choose to vote to sustain Obama's insanity, then I think you will pay dearly for your error in the upcoming elections. There is a strong sentiment in America and a strong sentiment in Colorado against those who are supporting the "inside the Beltway" foolishness we've been seeing from both Democrats and Republicans who vote only to win, keep power and disregard the best interests of America​.

How will you vote, Senator Bennet?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Cowardice is the worse sin on earth



Alexander Motyl writes in World Affairs,
By now you know that a Russian military kangaroo court sentenced Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov and Ukrainian civic activist Oleksandr Kolchenko to, respectively, 20 and 10 years imprisonment on trumped-up charges of terrorism. Amnesty International and other human rights groups immediately responded with protests, while Amnesty’s press secretary in Ukraine compared the trial to Stalinist show trials.

I hate to quibble, but the more accurate comparison is with the Soviet trials of dissidents in the 1960s–1980s. Stalinist trials might entail final statements by the accused, but they were invariably pathetic admissions of guilt. Not so in the Brezhnev era, when dissidents concluded their trials with eloquent appeals for justice and human rights.

... Sentsov’s final remarks are worth reading:

He begins by questioning the legitimacy of the court and, thus, of the trial:

Like [Kolchenko], I am not going to ask for anything from you—to expect consideration here, well, everyone understands that. ... A court of occupiers by definition cannot be just.

Then, like all Soviet dissidents, he denounces conformity and the willingness to adapt to evil:

Cowardice is the main and the worst sin on Earth. Betrayal is a personal form of cowardice. … All of your propaganda is working excellently. Most of the Russian population believes what they are saying: Putin is great. There are fascists in Ukraine. Russia is never wrong. There are enemies everywhere. … But I also understand that there are people who are smarter—such as you, for instance, here—who support the government. You perfectly well understand that there are no fascists in Ukraine. That Crimea was annexed illegally. That your troops are fighting in Donbas. … These are facts that are on the surface. … the troubadours of your regime … know everything as it is, but they continue to lie. Just as you continue your work, finding some sort of rationalization within yourself. Probably, they also rationalize to themselves: “We have to feed our children; we have to do something.” But, guys, what is the point of raising another generation of slaves?
Read more here.

What is happening to our military?

Trump accepts Cruz's invitation to participate in a rally in D.C. to protest Iran deal



Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from Ted Cruz to participate in a rally Wednesday, Sept. 9, on the West Lawn of the Capitol to call on members of Congress to defeat the catastrophic deal that the Obama administration has struck with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Read more here.

Ben Carson on veterans



One who is rising in the polls is Dr. Ben Carson. I hope that trend continues. The latest idea from Dr. Carson is to do away with the V.A.
“We don’t need a Department of Veterans Affairs,” Carson said to Dave Ramsey, on the financial planning strategist’s nationally syndicated show. “Veterans Affairs should be folded in under the Department of Defense. And it should be a smooth transition.”

“We need to be looking at the way we take care of soldiers,” he said, adding military recruitment had falled off 14 percent in part to this poor treatment of military members. “[Potential recruits] are looking at what we are doing to our veterans. When a person applies for the military, they should be in a support system immediately from day one. Particularly when they go through combat, because that is when all the trauma is occurring.”

He also said advanced planning for the career and employment needs of veterans was key.

“We should have people in place a year before their time of discharge to be working on their integration back into society,” Carson said. “There shouldn’t be a period of unemployment when they come out of the military.”
Read more here.

"All you need is a pair of balls and a painter's extension rod"

Taking back the power:

This hero has been arrested.

A victory for conservatives

Daniel Henninger reports in the Wall Street Journal,
Last year, the College Board, the nonprofit corporation that controls all the high-school Advanced Placement courses and exams, published new guidelines for the AP U.S. history test. They read like a left-wing dream. Obsession with identity, gender, class, crimes against the American Indian and the sins of capitalism suffused the proposed guidelines for teachers of AP American history.

As of a few weeks ago, that tilt in the guidelines has vanished. The College Board’s rewritten 2015 teaching guidelines are almost a model of political fair-mindedness. This isn’t just an about-face. It is an important political event.

The earlier guidelines characterized the discovery of America as mostly the story of Europeans bringing pestilence, destructive plants and cultural obliteration to American Indians. The new guidelines put it this way: “Mutual misunderstandings between Europeans and Native Americans often defined the early years of interaction and trade as each group sought to make sense of the other. Over time, Europeans and Native Americans adopted some useful aspects of each other’s culture.”

Also new: “The effort for American independence was energized by colonial leaders such as Benjamin Franklin, as well as by popular movements that included the political activism of laborers, artisans, and women.” The earlier version never suggested the existence of Franklin—or Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, Madison or anyone resembling a Founding Father. Now they’re back. Even the Federalist Papers were fished out of the memory hole.

Most incredible of all, the private enterprise system is, as they say, reimagined as a force for good: “As the price of many goods decreased, workers’ real wages increased, providing new access to a variety of goods and services.” There’s an idea that has fallen out of favor the past six years.

...What really happened was the resurrection of an American idea the left wants to extinguish—federalism. Some states began to push back. Legislative opposition to the guidelines formed in Georgia, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nebraska, Tennessee, Colorado and Texas.

Stanley Kurtz, of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, has argued that the College Board was concerned that its lucrative nationwide testing franchise would be at risk if states began to replace it with their own courses. I think he’s right.

This is a significant event. It marks an important turn in the American culture wars that exploded at the Republican convention in 1992 with the religious right, a movement that faded but whose sense of political alienation has remained alive, whether in the original tea-party groups or today with voters adopting the improbable Donald Trump.

...Is the country polarized? How could it not be? Is there a solution? Take a look at how the AP U.S. history mess was handled. Someone rewrote those guidelines into a reasonable political accommodation. It is not impossible.
Read more here.

Temporary injunction stops Obama's water grab in 13 states

A federal judge in North Dakota ruled against the Obama EPA in their effort to take over the waterways of America. Thirteen states filed for the injunction. So the new rule takes effect tomorrow in all but the thirteen states who filed for the injunction in North Dakota. The thirteen states temporarily protected against the EPA are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Read more here.

Cruz gets some help from Boehner

Ted Cruz just got some help from John Boehner. Boehner called Cruz a "jackass" at a speech Boehner gave at a Colorado fundraiser this week. Maybe we'll see Cruz's numbers begin to rise. Carly Fiorina is another candidate I am surprised to see is so far behind Donald Trump. Ask her a question - any question, and she will give a thoughtful and thorough answer.

Can we stop with the selfies?

Story number one: Tobias Salinger reports for the New York Daily News that
Group selfies are spreading head lice infestations among teens, a Wisconsin pediatrician warned in a back-to-school interview with WBAY-TV on Monday. Dr. Sharon Rink of Appleton joined a growing group of experts who are concerned about so-called “social media lice.”

They blame teens’ head-to-head contact while taking pictures or looking at each other’s phones for an increase in head lice infestation in an age group thought to be less at-risk than younger children.

“Teenagers don’t usually get lice because they’re not sharing hats and things like that,” Rink told the TV station. “And lice can’t jump, so the only way they can transmit lice is touching their heads together, and that’s happening with all these photos.”
Read more here.

Stories number two, three, and four (all from California): A Lake Eksinore man's idea to take a selfie with a rattlesnake came back to bite him, and now he may lose his hand as a result. Read more here.


A California man who picked up a rattlesnake and tried to take a photo with it may lose his hand for his troubles. Read more here.

Recently, though, a San Diego man thought it might be an idea to take a selfie with a rattlesnake.

Some might think this has all the sense of taking a boa constrictor clubbing. However, as KGTV in San Diego reported, Todd Fassler picked a rattlesnake out of the brush and thought he might memorialize the event.

The snake had other ideas and bit him.

Fassler was taken to hospital. His medical expenses could be described as expensive. KGTV's Dan Haggerty tweeted Fassler's bill -- for $153,161.25. Of this, more than $83,000 was for "pharmacy." His case reportedly depleted the antivenom supplies at two local hospitals. Read more here.



Trump's lead increases

Cheryl Chumley reports at World Net Daily that the newest
Quinnipiac University national poll puts the billionaire businessman at the forefront of the GOP pack for president with a percentage that bests even last month’s numbers.

“Donald Trump leads the crowded Republican pack with 28 percent, up from 20 percent in a July 30 national survey by the independent Quinnipiac University,” a written statement from Quinnipiac said. “This is the highest tally and widest margin for any Republican so far in this election. Ben Carson has 12 percent, with 7 percent each for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. No other Republican tops 6 percent and 11 percent are undecided.

Simultaneously, Trump also leads up the “no way” list of Republicans voters – the 26 percent who say they wouldn’t support the candidate, no matter what. Next on the “no way” list for Republicans is Bush, at 18 percent.

Quinnipiac also found Hillary Clinton has fallen out of favor with voters to such an extent that Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t even announced an intent to run for the White House, has slightly higher poll numbers than she does when considered in a matchup against leading Republicans.

“Clinton leads the Democratic field with 45 percent, down from 55 percent July 30, with U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont at 22 percent and Biden at 18 percent. No other candidate tops 1 percent with 11 percent undecided. This is Sanders’ highest tally and closest margin,” Quinnipiac reported.
Read more here.

Ministers ask Smithsonian to remove bust of Planned Parenthood founder

A group of black pastors have sent a letter to the Smithsonian Institute, asking that a statue of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum.

Penny Starr reports at cnsnews that the letter states,
"Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers," the letter from Ministers Taking a Stand states.

“Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild,” the letter states. “Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice.

“The obvious incongruity is staggering!” the letter states.

The group says that Sanger should not be part of an exhibit that features the real “champions” of the civil rights movement, including Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks.

“How can a person like Sanger, who found common cause with the racial agenda of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), be ranked among true champions of ‘justice?’” the letter states. “She was a purveyor of grave injustice against the most innocent and vulnerable among us.”

...The letter from Ministers Taking a Stand is signed by The letter is signed by Bishop E.W. Jackson, MTS founder and president and bishop THE CALLED Church; Pastor Cecil Blye, Jr., MTS President Kentucky and senior pastor, More Grace Ministries; Pastor Iverson Jackson, MTS state President Arkansas and senior pastor, Zoe Bible Church; Apostle Stanley Jacobs, MTS State President Delaware and senior pastor, Greater Works Ministry; Pastor Marlin Sharp, MTS president Tidewater Virginia and senior pastor, Landstown Community Church; Dr. Leon Threatt, MTS president North Carolina and senior pastor, Joy Christian Fellowship; Pastor Garfield Williams, MTS President Maryland and senior pastor, Kingdom Equippers Ministries; Rev. Steven L. Craft, MTS president New York/New Jersey and executive director Christian Citizenship Ministries; Dr. Melvin Johnson, MTS state president Texas and Heart of Christ Community Church; and Pastor Michael Smith, MTS President southwest Virginia and senior pastor Mountain View Union Church; Dr. Alveda King, pastoral associate and director of African- American Outreach, Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries; and Rev. William Cook, STAND director of operations.
Read more here.

Murderer gets 12 life sentences plus 3,318 years in prison

"We are the keepers of our children's legacy."
Randy DeSoto reports for Western Journalism,
The judge had one last thing to say as he ended the sentencing hearing. Turning to the bailiff, he instructed him: “Sheriff, get the defendant out of my courtroom, please,” drawing applause and cheers from survivors and the victims’ family members in the gallery.

Treat mental illness, or control guns?

190 retired generals and admirals sign letter opposing Iran deal

Go here to read an open letter from 190 retired generals and admirals opposing the Iran deal. The letter was sent to Representatives Boehner and Pelosi in the House, and to Senators McConnell and Reid in the Senate.

The universal hot crazy matrix

"Sir, don't ever do that again!"

Ramifications of ideology

Victor Davis Hanson writes,
We don’t know how many illegal immigrants are in the United States, only that the proverbial figure of “11 million” exists in amber since the last century, and despite massive influxes each year. So there is no way to ascertain either the size of the pool of illegal immigrants or how many have committed crimes. Rounding up every illegal alien and immediately deporting them is not feasible, but that does not mean that over one million with criminal records could not be returned to their home countries as undesirables.

...Some states report a fourth to a third of their murders are likely committed by illegal aliens. That cohort makes up over 25% of federal prisoners.

...Make Mexico Pay?

Sending Mexico a bill, or charging tariffs on trade, to finish the wall as penance for its cynical manipulation of American magnanimity is childish and unnecessary. Instead, we should look at some $40-50 billion that are sent as remittances home to Central America and Mexico each year, largely by illegal aliens themselves. Such a staggering sum might represent on average a $200-500 a month expense per illegal alien, a disposable sum that at best suggests existential poverty may not necessarily haunt every illegal alien resident, and at worse might remind us that government subsidies are sometimes used to free up income to send out of the country. Imagine if $40-50 billion were instead infused into the U.S. health care and legal systems for the indigent.

All the government would have to do, in the manner that most nations abroad already do, would be to impose a federal surcharge on all remittances by any sender who could not provide a U.S. passport to substantiate the transaction. At a 10% rate, billions could be raised ($4-5 billion a year?), and applied to the completion of the border fence. Within four or five years, the cost ($20 billion?) could be easily met by those whose illegality prompted the wall to be built.

Anchor Babies? ...In a practical sense, anyone who lives in an area with a large population of illegal aliens knows that it is a common tact for pregnant foreign nationals to deliberately plan on giving birth in the U.S., both to ensure citizenship for their children, and to create a proverbial anchor, by which they can either obtain legal residency for themselves or cite familial humanitarian claims later on if deportation suddenly looms. Is that not a means of circumventing and subverting the law by avoiding an application for legal green-card resident status? If “anchor baby” is a pejorative term, what then is the politically correct expression for that real fact?

Euphemisms...Breaking federal law is not a neutral matter of being without documents, but simply deliberately choosing never to obtain them at all. Alien (“not of this locale”) is not a pejorative term, but recognizes that Mexico and the United States are two different legal entities. Oddly, what is an offensive noun is La Raza (“the race”), racial chauvinism at its worse. Raza has a terrible history of modern usage in fascist Franco’s Spain and Mussolini’s Italy, and has disappeared from popular accepted usage in both countries. Raza was brought back into contemporary American parlance by racial separatists, particularly in the 1960s. Mrs. Clinton just spoke at the National Council of La Raza, and yet has been vocal about accusing others of polarizing the debate through charged language. That is absurd.

Absurd? ...Elites have branded Trump’s immigration proposals as absurd, especially the inflated rhetoric about a wall, and good and bad people. His idea of mass deportations en masse is unworkable, but not an argument against weeding out criminals and those without work histories in the United States.

Jeb Bush implied that elements of illegal immigration are an act of love. Perhaps that is true for millions of illegal aliens, who work hard and for little pay, and usually do not violate further state and federal laws. I see them every day.

But not all foreign nationals from Mexico and Central America do that.

One would accept Bush’s blanket generalization only if he had the clout or capital to be exempt from the ramifications of his own ideology. When a car zoomed into the barnyard last night and tossed out a brood of puppies (twice now in one month), and when last week a man threw wet garbage from his pickup next to my mailbox (full of Spanish language magazines, diapers, and used baby clothes), and when last month someone stole my pickup (found by police abandoned and damaged in a Fresno alleyway, with Mexican beer, food, and Spanish-language ads inside), and when two weeks ago a non-English speaker came in the driveway looking for trailers of prostitution (caravanas) down the road, I felt that they all had expressed little love for animals, the environment, or young women, or for that matter themselves — or me.

In other words, I sensed no act of love.
Read more here.

The Iran lobby

Daneil Greenfeld writes at Front Page about the Iran lobby's influence on American politicians.
Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb.

There was no surprise there.

Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.

After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.

As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise.

The Iran Lobby had even tried, and failed, to turn Arizona Republican Jeff Flake. Iran Lobby cash had made the White House count on him as the Republican who would flip, but Flake came out against the deal. The Iran Lobby invested a good deal of time and money into Schumer, but that effort also failed.

Still these donations were only the tip of the Iran Lobby iceberg.

...But the Iran Lobby’s biggest wins weren’t Markey or Shaheen. The real victory had come long before when two of their biggest politicians, Joe Biden and John Kerry, had moved into prime positions in the administration. Not only IAPAC, but key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both men.

A member of Iran’s opposition had accused Biden’s campaigns of being “financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network.” Biden’s affinity for the terrorist regime in Tehran was so extreme that after 9/11 he had suggested, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran”.

Appeasement inflation has since raised that $200 million to at least $50 billion. But there are still no strings worth mentioning attached to the big check.

...Both of Obama’s secretaries of state were involved in Iran Lobby cash controversies, as was his vice president and his former secretary of defense. Obama was also the beneficiary of sizable donations from the Iran Lobby. Akbar Ghahary, the former co-founder of IAPAC, had donated and raised some $50,000 for Obama.

... Despite what we are told about its “moderate” leaders, Iran considers itself to be in a state of war with us. Iran and its agents have repeatedly carried out attacks against American soldiers, abducted and tortured to death American officials and have even engaged in attacks on American naval vessels.

Aiding an enemy state in developing nuclear weapons is the worst form of treason imaginable. Helping put weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is the gravest of crimes.
http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/259895/traitor-senators-took-money-iran-lobby-back-iran-daniel-greenfield

As lethal as any sword



Found here.

Where do we draw the line?

Robert George writes in The American Interest,
The Youngs are women in a committed relationship who love and care for and look after each other. They share domestic duties and financial responsibilities. They share a bed and make love. They have a child (courtesy of sperm donation and in vitro fertilization) and intend to have two more. They were united in a ceremony in which they wore beautiful white wedding gowns and were walked down the aisle by their fathers. They are just like any ordinary Massachusetts opposite- or same-sex married couple. Only they’re not a couple. Doll, Kitten, and Brinn Young are a throuple. And, for now at least, Massachusetts, like other states, does not recognize as marriages “polyamorous” unions (romantic partnerships of three or more persons).

But Doll, Kitten, and Brinn think that’s unfair and should change. They want marriage equality for themselves and other polyamorists. They are proud that their home state was in the vanguard of legally recognizing same-sex partnerships as marriages, thanks to the bold intervention of the liberal-dominated Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. But they insist that the same principles that generated what they and most liberals (and, it seems, more than a few conservatives) believe to be “marriage equality” for gays should produce the same result for other sexual minorities, especially polyamorous people like themselves.

If gender doesn’t matter for marriage, they ask, why should number matter?

...They find fulfillment in their long-term sexual partnership, just as opposite- and same-sex couples find fulfillment in theirs. The dignity of their relationship, not to mention their own personal dignity, is assaulted, they believe, when their marriage is treated as inferior and unworthy of legal recognition. Their child and future children are stigmatized by laws that refuse to treat their parents as married. And to what end? How does it harm the marriage of, say, John and Harold, the couple next door, if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recognizes the Youngs’ marriage? Indeed, what justification can be given—what legitimate state interest can be cited—for dishonoring Doll, Kitten, and Brinn and their marriage? Surely, the only explanation, apart from religious scruples of the sort that may not constitutionally be imposed by the State, is animus and a bare desire to harm people who are different?

...Newsweek reports that, though polyamory remains unconventional, it is far from unheard of: there are approximately 500,000 polyamorous households in the United States today. Polygamous and polyamorous relationships, often with children in the picture, are depicted as just one more historically misunderstood way of being a family—and those who enter such relationships as an often-victimized minority.

Last month, the New York Times published an essay by University of Chicago law professor William Baude urging readers to keep their minds open towards polygamy and other multiple-partner sexual relationships. He noted that they could have some advantages over monogamous partnerships—for example, more parents available to look after the kids and share other domestic duties—and he easily identified the weaknesses in anti-polygamy arguments made by writers like Richard Posner, who support redefining marriage to include same-sex partnerships but want to draw the line there.
Read more here.

The politicization of the intelligence community

Shane Harris writes at the Daily Beast,
Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going.

Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged.

...“The phrase I use is the politicization of the intelligence community,” retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told The Daily Beast when describing what he sees as a concerted push in government over the past several months to find information that tells a preferred story about efforts to defeat ISIS and other extremist groups, including al Qaeda. “That’s here. And it’s dangerous,” Flynn said.

...At U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, analysts have been frustrated for months that as their reports make their way up the chain, senior officers change them to adhere more closely to the administration’s line. Three U.S. officials and analysts spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.

...The CENTCOM analysts say they’ve concluded that the campaign isn’t going well, but that the senior officials want all reports on ISIS to see “eye to eye” and to avoid analyses that reach widely different conclusions.

“I think it comes from the seniors that interact with the policy folks [meaning senior administration officials] and it filters its way down,” one of the analysts said.
Read more here.

An appropriate conclusion to the 60s


Remember these two guys? William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal are the subject of analysis by James Rosen in National Review. The two men are the subject of a documentary entitled Best of Enemies.
Read more here.

"Any pilot should fly a Spitfire at least once"

In 2005, an 83 year-old World War II pilot is surprised to see 16mm footage of his 1944 Spitfire crash for the first time.


Thanks to Curt Dale

Should we put the best ones on top?

Seth Godin writes about the strawberry connundrum:

Every grocer has to decide: when packing a quart of strawberries, should your people put the best ones on top?

If you do, you'll sell more and disappoint people when they get to the moldy ones on the bottom.

Or, perhaps you could put the moldy ones on top, and pleasantly surprise the few that buy.

Or, you could rationalize that everyone expects a little hype, and they'll get over it.

A local grocer turned the problem upside down: He got rid of the boxes and just put out a pile of strawberries. People picked their own. He charged more, sold more and made everyone happier.

Hype might not be your best option.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grievance collectors

Ace of Spades confronts the media about their narrative when it comes to murderers who kill members of another tribe:
You will continue being sober and cautious when a killer turns out to be non-white -- and absolutely gleeful when he turns out to be white, because that's the only color of True Evil in the media's eternal Narrative.

The Narrative never changes; the Narrative can never change. Only the names, dates, and places change daily, but the Narrative remains pure and inalterable like Polaris.

This Part of the Game I Can Cleanly Blame on the Media: When the killer is Muslim, the media tries its hardest to not connect that killer to any other Muslim, or even the Islamist ideology. They want to draw as narrow a circle as possible around the killer, including no other people, so that a hypothetical half-crazy would-be Crusader won't think "I'll get my vengeance by killing one his compatriots."

But when the killer is white, they expand that circle as wide as possible to indict all of white society. In the Charleston shooting, they blamed the Confederate flag and all the white people who admired that flag.

The Washington Post even went as far as blaming the Charleston shooting on a couple of minor jokes about Mexicans (not blacks) told by Amy Schumer.

The Confederate flag, South Carolinans who voted to keep the flag, Amy Schumer, the NRA, the GOP... the circle of responsibility was not just permitted to grow -- it was deliberately expanded by the media and the "experts" it lets past its gates.

Would the media ever do that with Muslims? Would they start making random tendentious connections between a Muslim killer and all other Muslims, or a Muslim stage performer? Would the media blame CAIR?

No, they would not.

But they routinely do that when the killer is white -- they go searching for the "root causes," and the root causes they're interested in are not specific to the killer; they find the sins to dwell within the hearts of all white people.

When a Muslim commits a terrorist act, that's just a lone wolf. But when Dylan Roof goes on a murder rampage, that is a sin that has been encouraged by, and is the direct responsibility of, every white person who is not himself an ultra-orthodox intersectionalist progressive.

So why shouldn't Bryce Williams take the media at its word and decide that Charleston is the responsibility of every white person he takes a disliking to?

Oh and By the Way: This racist was a "grievance collector," as commenters report an FBI profiler called him on TV. He was, get this, a loser, and he filed complaint after complaint blaming other people for his inability to hold a steady job or not piss off everyone who met him.

It was always "racism" that was causing his problems.

Some might say it was because he was a crazy asshole, a fact proven by his cowardly choice to shoot a man and two women in the back; but on Twitter, alas, I see some people taking his side, claiming he was "driven" to this or whatever, and how sad that is.

Which dovetails with the point I was making earlier in the post. The media would not permit any suggestion that perhaps Dylan Roof had a point (and they would be right to dismiss any such horrifying suggestion), but when it comes to non-white murderers, suddenly the media is on a hunt to discover What White People Might Have Done to Provoke This.
Read more here.

Is this what we have come to?



The killer today in Virginia posted a video of his attack on Twitter and Facebook and sent ABC News a 23 page manifesto. He said he had a right to be angry because he has faced racial and sexual discrimination because he was a gay black man.

Chris Pleasance, Ashley Collman and Josh Gardner wrote in their report for Dailymail.com, that the killer
was also once reprimanded by WDBJ editors for wearing an Obama campaign sticker on his jacket while reporting from an election booth in 2012, saying it 'demonstrated a basic lack of understanding of your role as an on-air journalist' and was a clear breach of impartiality rules.
Read more here

Aiding and abetting

Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review about Obama and Kerry's Iran deal:
...in the grand deal our president describes as subjecting the mullahs to historically rigorous inspection, disclosure, and verification requirements, there is no inspection, no disclosure, and no verification.

And did I mention no sanctions?

...The president had it backwards Wednesday when, in his repulsively demagogic speech on the Iran deal, he said that Republicans are aligned with the Iranian “hardliners chanting ‘Death to America.’” It is Obama who is aiding and abetting the hardliners. Republicans have merely aided and abetted Obama.
Read more here.

Culture and morals shape our direction more than politics


Daniel Patrick Moynihan / Wikimedia Commons

Timothy S. Goeglein writes at The American Conservative, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
was right, and not only about black families.

...The most controversial study he ever wrote, the one that propelled him to national attention, was published 50 years ago this year—an event worth recalling because “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action,” also known as “the Moynihan Report,” focused on the direction of the American black family and the conditions under which children were being raised. Eventually his research would illuminate reasons for the breakdown of much of the American nuclear family in the five decades to follow.

He wrote in 1965 that “The fundamental problem … is that of family structure. The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.” On the day his report was released, about one quarter of black kids were living only with their mothers. Moynihan called this a crisis, as indeed it was, but 50 years on between 70 and 75 percent of all black Americans are now born out of wedlock, a tripling of the trend Moynihan had spotted. More than half of Hispanic children are also born out of wedlock today, and 29 percent of white babies.

The goal of the Moynihan Report, he said, had been to begin a serious national conversation about the implications of those sizable numbers of out-of-wedlock births and what they said about the condition of the family and marriage. His fellow liberals believed that the social and cultural pathologies Moynihan had identified could be effectively addressed by an historic expansion of the federal government. President Johnson’s War on Poverty, launched in 1964, was defined in part by a series of programs that would intervene against family and marriage breakdown, helping to arrest, reverse, and eventually eradicate the problems that Moynihan had identified.

But Moynihan was skeptical. Government could not tuck a child into bed at night; government could not save a marriage; government could not help a broken family fall in love again. These were, he said, primarily cultural problems and not economic or political ones—a bold assertion at a time when trust in big government was embraced by members of both parties.

The Manhattan Institute’s Jason Riley — who has written about the continuing relevance of the Moynihan Report — says Johnson’s Great Society programs began a devastating tendency: “Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home — and paid them well.”

For decades,” he continues, “research has shown that the likelihood of teen pregnancy, drug abuse, dropping out of school, and many other social problems grew dramatically when fathers were absent.” Riley cites a 2002 study by researchers William Comanor and Llad Phillips of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Their conclusions are sobering: “the most critical factor affecting the prospect that a male youth will encounter the criminal justice system is the presence of his father in the home.”

...Lest there be any thought that these trends have only affected black people, nothing could be further from the truth: according to the 2010 census, for the first time in American history more than half of all babies born to American women 30 years of age and under were born out of wedlock.

In 1995, looking back at his four decades in public life, Moynihan was asked what had been the biggest transformation he had observed: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.”

So how to think about the moral revolution we are living through a half-century after Moynihan published his famous analysis? It seems to me that culture still leads and is upstream from what is happening in the politics of either party. Morals and manners — more than legislation — primarily shape the direction of great nations. Any hope for regeneration will likely arise from our families with active and involved fathers, churches that foster family cohesiveness, and various ministries and nonprofits that make strong, nuclear families a priority.

The enduring urgency of Moynihan’s work after 50 years confirms what his friend George Will said about “the ecology of a nation,” namely that “the most important business of one generation is the raising of the next generation.”
Read more here.

Did you know that dogs choose the direction they relieve themselves based on our planet’s magnetic field?

This comes from the newsdesk of PBS, so it certainly must be seriously true, right?
Dogs use the Earth’s magnetic field when they’re relieving themselves. Not only that, but canines choose to do so in a north-south axis, a new study published in the journal Frontiers in Zoology says.

The study suggests that dogs are sensitive to small variations in Earth’s magnetic field. After examining 70 dogs — made up of 37 breeds — over two years, 1,893 defecations and 5,582 urinations, researchers found that under “calm magnetic field conditions,” dogs preferred to “excrete with the body being aligned along the north-south axis,” avoiding east-west altogether. Dogs were observed in a free-roaming environment, meaning they were not leashed and not influenced by walls or roads that would influence linear movement.
Read more here.

H/T Michael Brown

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Accommodating the obesity epidemic

How have makers of women's clothes changed their sizes to accommodate the obesity epidemic? Chateau Heartiste supplies us with this graph from Wapo's Wonk Blog.